I have spent my lifetime coming to know myself. As an educator and counselor, writing has always come easy, but art has come as a great surprise. My art comes from my heart and has its own message for those for whom the message is intended.
Thanks to the encouragement (ass kicking) of several of my spiritual sisters, I am now offering my art for sale. Click on the image below to access our online store!
It has been said that courage is not the absence of fear, but is instead the ability to move forward in spite of our fear. THIS is the lesson and meaning of life and what Jesus came to teach us. This courage is what we commemorate and give honor to in our Good Friday observance and what we are invited to embrace in our own lives. Whether we profess Jesus, Mohammed, Moses, the Buddha, Amma, Anandamayima, the 13 Grandmothers, Spider Woman, Mother Mary, Mary Magdalene or any other formerly living human as our teacher, the lesson is the same:
Do not fear the darkness of life. Instead, let it lead you to freedom.
In every spiritual tradition, the invitation is the same – FREEDOM. Some describe this freedom as salvation. Others speak of it as presence, bliss, oneness, unity, peace, or love. No matter what word is used to describe this freedom, the sentiment is the same. We are here to remember the freedom we once knew and will once again know and we are here to remember this freedom right here in the midst of our human experience.
Like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. One of my favorite scenes from the life of Jesus. Here he wrestled with his doubts and his fears. Because of his foresight and wisdom, he had a sense of where his path was heading. He knew there were those threatened by his presence and that if people truly believed what Jesus had come to know, many would lose their perceived place of power and privilege. Jesus knew they plotted to kill him. He was afraid. Terrified. And in this, he wondered if God really had his back. Had he simply made it all up or was what had been revealed to him really true? Jesus fought hard with these fears and doubts. He was tempted to chuck it all and return to a normal human life. Instead, through the agony of prayer, he found peace. He discovered resolve. He harnessed the deep well of courage within him to face his greatest fears – suffering and death.
But Jesus’ struggle didn’t end in the Garden. His fears surfaced over and over and over as he took one step at a time on the road to Calvary. When accused. While on trial. When he was whipped and beaten. When the soldiers placed the crown of throne on his head. When we was given the cross to carry through the city of Jerusalem and up the winding road to Golgotha. As people mocked and ridiculed him, spit on him, called his names. When he fell. When he stumbled. Every step of the way rose up another fear. Jesus did not overcome his fears, he walked through them. He faced them. He bore them. And he walked. One step at a time. As the executioners nailed his body to the cross. As the cross was lifted and his body sunk under its own weight, crushing his lungs. Terrified. Feeling abandoned and betrayed. Suffering the excruciating death of crucifixion. Jesus was afraid. In pain. Suffering. In his suffering he turned to God and this is where he found his courage. Where he found his acceptance and peace.
Hopefully none of us will have to face the death of crucifixion, but fear, suffering, and death are all consequences of the human condition. We cannot escape it. We will all experience suffering. We will all face challenge and difficulty. We will all experience loss, betrayal, and death. This is the human condition and this is why the Jesus story is so important – for all of us. In the crucifixion narrative and the events leading up to it, Jesus shows us how to face the darkness of life. He shows us how to find our way through our fears (he never promises the elimination of fear) and most importantly, how to walk on in spite of our fears.
What darkness are you currently facing?
How are you being invited to be with your fears and in being with them finding the courage to walk on?
Authentic Freedom is a protocol inspired by Jesus which shows us how to face and move through our fears in our own journey toward freedom. Learn more HERE.
Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be
Let’s talk about death…..
As it has been said, there are two things that are certain in the human experience: change and death. We have spoken at length about change, but we haven’t spent much time on the topic of death. Death is certain and every day of our lives is a slow (or quick) march toward that death. We cannot avoid it – our own death or the death of those we love and care about. While death is certain, and could simply be viewed as an ordinary part of our human experience, it is also our greatest fear.
As we fear and resist change, so too do we resist and fear death. It may not be death specifically that we fear, but the inability to control, when, how and with how much pain (physical or otherwise) we experience death. We also fear that which comes after death – if anything. And perhaps more than the “if anything” we fear the possibility that this life might be all there is….that there is nothing waiting for us on the other side of death. From a rational, objective, scientific perspective, we have no way to prove what there may or may not be after death. What it there’s nothing!?
Every religious institution has its own beliefs about death and what comes thereafter. Some suggest that this life is all there is. Others preach the ever-evolving wheel of karma and that we return to this life over and over and over until we have worked off that karma so as to earn enlightenment or nirvana. Some suggest the purpose of the human journey is to grow spiritually and that we return until our eternal Soul has completed its growth. Others suggest a place of eternal damnation. Others suggest a place of eternal reward. Some used to suggest there were places in between (limbo or purgatory), but both of these seem to have been eliminated in favor of heaven or hell. Others believe in a hierarchical afterlife where only the very special chosen ones will receive the fullness of the heavenly reward. The beliefs that human beings have developed around the idea of death are endless. No matter which of these is true, we have no control over when death will come for us or how that death will happen (unless it is by our own hand)…..and this scares the hell out of most people.
Until it does not. In the Christian tradition, we are told that Jesus came so as to conquer death…..:
“Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3: 11-17
God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 2 Timothy 1: 9-10
…but what was the death that Jesus conquered? Jesus did die…(at least that’s what scripture and Christian doctrine tell us). If Jesus brought eternal life, it is not an eternal life on this human plane. Christianity then goes on to tells us that in his death Jesus guaranteed eternal life for “all who believe in him.” But what about the rest of the world? Are only Christians saved? I very much doubt it. I personally believe we are all saved, but not in the way that has anything to do with a heavenly reward, or lack thereof. Instead, it is not physical death and the “what comes after” that Jesus saves us from. Instead, Jesus came to save us from that which prevents us from LIVING while we are right here, trying to get through this thing called life (Cue Prince). Ironically, the way we make it through this human experience is to face down and move through this which we fear the most – namely death.
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Welcome to the New Year! In celebration of the new life that is waiting for all of us in the coming year, I am offering you a special gift. Please enjoy as my New Year’s gift to you DEEPLY DISCOUNTED rates on Spiritual Counseling/One-on-One mentoring. These discounted prices are only available now through January 8th (and can be used anytime throughout the year), so ACT NOW!
Purchase a single session at $99.00 (originally priced $150.00)
Buy a 3 pack for only $297.00 (a savings of over $150.00)
Save even more and purchase a 6 pack for only $499.00 (a savings of over $400.00!!!)
Offer only good through January 8, 2019! Buy the package now and use your sessions anytime between January 1 – December 31, 2019. No refunds or exchanges on package offers.
Once payment is received, I will send you an email to schedule your sessions. Sessions will be held over the phone or via ZOOM.
I look forward to supporting your spiritual development needs and your desire to choose love in the coming year!
This past weekend, I had an interesting experience. A man I know to be one of the kindest, most generous, faithful and humble human beings, posted a horribly negative comment against our incoming government officials who are of the Muslim faith. I joined my daughter in righteous anger over his comments. How could someone who claims to be a devout Christian, and otherwise a good, kind and generous man believe such horrible things of our Muslim brothers and sisters? I was angry, but beyond the anger, I felt horribly sad. How could this man, for whom I otherwise have the utmost respect, believe that his hatred and fear of Muslims is any way shape or form consistent with Jesus’ teachings? I wanted to step in and ask him if he had read the story of The Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 25-37) – a story Jesus used to teach us that often the kindest and most “Godly” acts are performed by those who are not of our “tribe” or “belief system.” I also wanted to quote the story of the Syrophoenician woman (Mark 7:24-30) who was instrumental in converting Jesus of his own beliefs – who through her persistence and insistence convinced Jesus that he was here for the whole world – not just the tribes of Israel. I refrained from commenting, but I still found myself troubled. So I brought this quandary to prayer.
This is when my compassion stepped in. My friend, in his fear and hatred of Muslims is simply believing what he has been taught by the version of Christianity to which he subscribes – a version cloaked in the same fear of “the other” that he already carried in his mind. To me, this is very sad. And yet, this man, like every single human being walking this planet, is a vessel of Love just waiting to be found. Quite simply, he hasn’t yet found the fullness of his Love – the Love he already is and was made to be, but which is currently hidden beneath a curtain of fear. He freely and generously loves those who believe as he does and in his working profession, generously loves those in need of his service. But, because he doesn’t yet know the fullness of the Love that he is and he hasn’t yet discovered the fullness of Divine love, he is not yet able to love every human being in the way that God does. Here he is bearing out Jesus’ most profound and simplest teaching:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12: 30-31
This scripture has most often been interpreted as a commandment, but it could just as easily be taken as an observation of what is true. We are only capable of loving our neighbor to the extent that we love ourselves. Put another way, the degree to which we are able to love other human beings is proportionate to the degree to which we believe in God’s love for us, and the degree to which we are able to love ourselves as God loves us. This is a plain and simple human truth. My friend is unable to love his Muslim brothers and sisters because for some reason he does not yet comprehend the vast and unconditional nature of God’s love and in this, is also unable to unconditionally love himself. He still has more love in him waiting to be found.
The same is true of all of us. Each and every one of us is Love waiting to be found. And each and every one of us is somewhere along the continuum of finding and then living from that love. Our actions on this human plane then reflect the degree to which we know the love that we are.
This brings me to the topic of evil….
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Holiday Bundles are a terrific way to get the courses you want at a discounted price. For this holiday season, I have three bundles – one to fit all areas of interest: Shamanic Practices, the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine. Chose you bundle and let the transformation begin!
Shame is one of the forces of manipulation that we are currently unraveling from at this stage in our cultural/spiritual evolution. Specifically – the shame we have been conditioned to feel by the patriarchal/hierarchical power structures who for the past 5000 years have ruled our world. These power structures, which are rooted in fear, power and control, have fashioned “rules” from which they benefit while the rest of us suffer. Shame is the tool they use to get us to comply with their rules. Let me offer a few examples:
If you anger, disappoint or turn away from “god” you will go to hell and here are the ways you will anger and disappoint “god.”
If you don’t dress a certain way, carry a certain purse, if your body isn’t a certain size, people won’t love you.
If you don’t succeed in school, you are a failure.
If you didn’t learn the lesson, or if you did learn it but can’t communicate it in the way we expect you to, you will get a bad grade.
If you don’t pay your bills on time, you will be punished.
If you don’t make a certain amount of money, you are a failure.
If you are sick and need medical care, but don’t have money to pay for it, you are lazy.
If you are a working mother and can’t get to work on time because you have to take your child to work, you will be fired.
If you got pregnant out of wedlock, you are a whore.
If you are having sex outside of marriage you are also a whore.
If you are raped, it’s your fault.
The list goes on and on and on.
These are the threats that have been doled out to us by the existing power structures to imprison us with fear and manipulate us with shame.
It is time for us to unravel from this shame by:
Refusing its power over us.
Taking back our own power.
Healing the wounds that have been implanted within us by this shame so that we are less likely to be vulnerable to shame’s manipulations.
For further support in healing your own shame, especially if it relates to money, check out my new online “course” – part instruction, part self-reflection, part shamanic healing journey. Free yourself once and for all of the power structure’s means of keeping you in shame around money:
The short answer to the question: “How do you survive soul death” is YOU DON’T. Soul death is what many are experiencing right now as we are facing the death of the world that we have known and the void between what we have known and what has not yet come into being.
Soul death can be recognized by:
Feeling as if you are weighted down
Life feels as if you are walking through wet cement
You feel heavy, depressed, unmotivated, paralyzed.
NOTHING seems to be happening in your outside world.
Inside you feel vacant and empty.
You feel the need to weep but you don’t know why.
It feels as if there is nothing to hang on to, nothing holding your attention or interest in this world.
You don’t want to die, but THIS doesn’t feel much like living.
You are SOUL WEARY. Exhausted. Worn out. Physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
The spiritual practices that normally provide some measure of comfort feel empty and lifeless. They provide no relief.
Symptoms of soul death seem to be the common theme for sensitives at this point in our human evolution. The world we have known is dying (thank God) and we are in that void between what has been and what has not yet been brought forth into our lives and world.
There is no surviving soul death because death is the point. All that we have done, been, believed, been a part of in the old (patriarchal/hierarchical) world needs to come to an end. We cannot leave the old world behind while clinging to what gave our lives meaning and purpose in that world. Neither can we leave that world behind while clinging to the beliefs, structures, practices or habits that supported our survival in that world. It all needs to go. It all needs to die. And that is terrifying.
Once we have allowed the death of all that has been, we enter INTO THE VOID! This is the state of complete emptiness where we know nothing and where WE ARE NOTHING. This can be a frightening place – especially for those (like me) who seek after some measure of surety. We long to have something to hold on to. In the void, there is literally nothing, so there is nothing to hang on to. Instead, our only option is to SURRENDER. Here, instead of resisting, we enter deeply into our soul death. We allow ourselves to courageously face the darkness, the emptiness, the nothingness and to feel the deep pain of separation, knowing that this perceived separation is only an illusion for in the perceived darkness where it appears there is nothing, THERE IS EVERYTHING. Everything that has ever come into form came into being from this place of emptiness. In entering into the nothing we discover EVERYTHING.
Surviving soul death requires to us surrender to it….enter into it….be with and allow it. Survival comes in allowing the death and being with it every step of the way. Only then can the new life come into being.